The FX series from Niigata Engineering was completed in 1996 with a 205 mm bore model to complement the established 165 mm and 260 mm high speed engines in a programme developed for fast commercial and military vessel propulsion. The resulting 16FX, 20FX and 26FX models offer maximum continuous outputs from 1000 kW

to 7200 kW in commercial service, with slightly higher ratings available for naval propulsion. The 16FX engine is produced in in-line eight, V12- and V16-cylinder versions running at 1950 rev/min, the V20FX in V12 and V16 versions running at 1650 rev/min, and the V26FX (Figure 30.26) in V12-, 16- and 18-cylinder versions running at 1300 rev/min.

Figure 30.26 Cross-section of Niigata V26FX engine

Compact and highly rigid engines were sought by the Japanese designer from a monobloc structure fabricated from nodular cast iron, with the extensive use of light alloy elements contributing to a modest overall weight. Engine width was minimized by adopting a V60-degree cylinder bank and overall length reduced by minimizing the distance between cylinders while maintaining the required bearing width.

A one-piece nodular cast iron piston was specified for the V16FX engine, but the higher mechanical and thermal stresses imposed by the cylinder pressure parameters of the V20FX 'Blue Arrow' engine influenced the selection of a component with a steel crown and aluminium skirt for the larger design. A bore cooling-type oil gallery structure on the crown reduces the temperature of the piston at higher mean effective pressures. Higher cylinder pressures also foster increased piston blow-by, calling for a high sealing capability and wear resistance from the piston rings. A chromium-ceramic coated top ring contributes to these properties, while an anti-polishing ring in the top of the cylinder liner yields a lower lube oil consumption rate.

An output ceiling of 7200 kW at 1300 rev/min from the Niigata high speed engine portfolio is provided by the 18-cylinder version of the 260 mm bore V26FX design. A monobloc frame of high tensile strength ductile cast iron and the use of light alloy parts where appropriate contribute to rigidity and light weight from a compact envelope.

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